Satellite broadcasters in China are cutting talent shows and dating programmes in a government crackdown on “excessive” entertainment TV, according to reports. State news agency Xinhua said prime time entertainment programmes had been cut by more than two-thirds. Satellite channels have started to broadcast programmes that promote traditional virtues and core values. The move targets what Chinese regulators have called “a trend toward low taste”.
Meanwhile authorities in the United Kingdom have revoked the broadcasting license for Press TV, an English-language international news network based in Iran. The move exposes the facade of freedom of speech in supposedly democratic western countries and further reveals the class nature of the right to expression. Networks like Press TV play a positive role in the modern world. By airing counter-western criticism in a broad manner and challenging the narrative presented by United States networks, they open the door for much more radical critiques to be acknowledged and legitimized. Thus, the ability of Press TV to have equal programming rights in countries such as the UK is something all revolutionaries should defend. The UK’s ruling against Al Jazeera, which goes against their own rhetoric on “freedom of speech,” must be condemned by all those who wish to build global democracy and a world without oppression.